Cuddles is dying.
I need your help.





This is an emergency post. It is not what I planned, scheduled or hoped to be talking about today. It will not be my best piece of writing but it is one of my most important.

In fact I don’t even want to type the words out.

But Cuddles is dying.

Last Tuesday I went out into the run and the normally wildly active and friendly Cuddles was hiding under a tree. Just laying there.

By Wednesday she hadn’t improved at all and wasn’t eating or drinking. She wasn’t moving. Otherwise she looked healthy. No signs of a cold or any respiratory problems. Nice red comb. She had laid an egg only a few days earlier. But I knew when I looked at her. Cuddles was dying.

Her poop was minuscule bits of green (bile filled) dry blobs. From what I could tell she had no swelling in her crop or abdomen.

So I ran up to my local feed store and got her some electrolytes (to replenish the liquid, vitamins and minerals she needed) and some penicillin in case she had any sort of infection that could be cleared up.

The horrible, horrible sad thing about chickens is generally when they get sick, they die.

They’re prone to cancer, egg binding, impacted crops, egg yolk peritonitis, prolapsed vents, respiratory illnesses and a litany of other things that can, and often do lead to death.

By Thursday Cuddles’ poop looked like this.



Sorry for the graphic photo, but really I don’t care. I just care about finding some sort of help for Cuddles.

After a day of antibiotics and electrolytes Cuddles was feeling MUCH better. She was up and moving around and drinking. Still no eating though. For the next couple of days she got even better and would peck angrily at the younger chickens, drink and eat (but only her favourite foods). I could coax her to eat preserved crickets, corn on the cob, oatmeal and a bit of her feed. She’d peck and scratch at the dirt like she normally does, looking for bugs. Her poops were not large, but back to normal with regular cecal matter and poopy stuff.

After 4 days I quit the antibiotics and electrolytes. That was today (I’m writing this Sunday night). She was active again today and scratching around in the dirt for bits of food, but will NOT eat her food and will not eat anything presented to her other than some fresh corn.

And her poops are back to this …


Like I said. For the most part, when chickens get sick, chickens die.

I know Cuddles is just a chicken. And I’m willing to let nature take it’s course if need be. I don’t want to prolong her life for my sake. But there are 2 things I won’t do.

I will not give up trying to help her if I think there’s a chance she can recover.

And I will not allow her to suffer for weeks or even days. If she has no chance, I will have her put down.

I will not chop her head off, I will not break her neck. I just can’t. Cuddles sat in my lap for hours last summer when the fella left. The poor thing would be soaked in tears, but just shake them off and sleep in my lap. So no, off with her head is not an option here. But I will have her euthanized the same way I’ve had other pets I’ve loved. If I have to I’ll have Cuddles put to sleep.



Now is when I ask for your help.

I cannot find a vet that deals in poultry in my area. If you know of someone who deals with poultry in the Hamilton, Ontario region let me know. I would like Cuddles looked at and diagnosed so I can decide what to do. I will also need a vet to euthanize her when the time comes.

Also, if you are a chicken owner and these symptoms seem familiar to you, let me know. I know very little about poultry veterinary but I suppose it could be egg yolk peritonitis.

If you know anyone else who is an experienced chicken farmer please forward this post to them.

Synopsis and timeline of Symptoms

Day 1 – lethargic, not eating or drinking
Day 2 – lethargic, not eating or drinking. Dry, green pellet type poops. Started on electrolytes and penicillin.
Day 3 – energy back, eating a tiny bit and drinking. Fed some olive oil in case of blockage or crop issue. Poops that look like egg yolk with no solids. (however both her medications that I’ve been syringe feeding her are a bright yellow colour)
Day 4 – Great energy, playing a bit, eating anything when hand fed. Picking out only black sunflower seeds from scratch. Eating crickets, green beans, greens, yogourt, oatmeal, and a small amount of crumble when fed by hand and she got jealous when the other chickens were eating it. Discontinued use of electrolytes and penicillin at end of day.
Day 5 – Less energy but still up and moving around all day. Running to gate when she saw me. Uninterested in eating even her favourite foods other than a few specific seeds from scratch, weeds and raw corn on the cob. Crop felt almost empty before bed. Decided to give electrolytes just before she retired for the night.

I apologize for the horribly depressing and you know, gross post where you didn’t learn how to do anything or get a chance to laugh but it seemed stupid to have this kind of a forum and not use it to help Cuddles.

Thank you.


  1. Emily Davis says:

    If you can’t find dead seas salt -use epsom salt. You can pick it up at your local drugstore.

  2. Tigersmom says:

    Oh geez! I know zip about chickens except they have cute fluffy butts and can be wonderful comforting companions, thanks to you.

    I hope Cuddles makes a full and fast recovery and will add her and you to my prayers.

    And no need for apologies. Anyone who “knows” you through your blog knows and understands what your girls, especially Cuddles, mean to you.

  3. Emily Davis says:

    Karen I am so sorry about Cuddles! If it is egg yolk peritonitis – here is something very simple that has helped my girls through – Fill up a big soup pot with warm water and and a cup of fragrance free dead sea salts. Soak Cuddles for ten minutes. Do this twice a day to get her insides moving and she very may well poop out what is causing her to be sick after the first soak. I swear by this spa treatment and have been using it for years to cure my girls of various ailments. Also Bragg’s vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon per pint of water and if you have to – syringe feed it to her. In my experience, Bragg’s works quicker and better than antibiotics and isn’t so harsh on the system. I’m rooting for you and for Cuddles!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks EMily. I will be giving her an epsom salts bath today. She doesn’t seem to have any fluids, or swelling in her abdomen which is what makes me feel like it probably isn’t EYP, but it’s always, always possible! ~ karen

  4. Mia says:

    I blew up your poop photo(yellow watery poop photo,Thursday photo)and used a magnifying glass and at approx the 8:00 position just below the white patch it looks like worms,could just be debris,but look closely at this photo.

  5. Terry says:

    You might consider contacting Guelph Vetrinary college.

  6. Mia says:

    Look into tube feeding Karen,it is something that all poultry keepers should learn to do. Many birds die of starvation/dehydration rather than the actual issue. Tube feeding provides the needed fluids/food to fuel their very high metabolic body. I tube fed one of my silkie roosters for 7 days due to some type of head trauma(no wounds)he became lethargic almost comatose,after the 7 days he was fine and resumed eating on his own.

    • Karen says:

      Yes, I keep meaning to look that up mia. I’m getting fairly good with syringe feeding of liquids and so is Cuddles, but tube feeding may be needed. ~ karen!

  7. Mia says:

    I noticed in one post the suggestion of giving medicated feed containing Amprolium for a possible Coccidiosis overload, medicated feed will DO NOTHING for a cocci overload,it does NOT contain enough Amprolium,you would need a much more concentrated dose such as Amprolium(Amprol) this is what it is called in Canada and available through a vet(in Manitoba this is the only way i can purchase Amprol). Just clarifying this information.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Judy. I actually know Kathy. She’s GREAT with chickens, but still … she’s not a vet and this really is a bit of a strange problem. I’ve contacted the vet she uses when she’s looking up solutions to problems like this herself. :) He gave a couple of suggestions. ~ karen!

  8. Dagmar says:

    You’re a good Mamma Karen. I love the fact that when the chips are down, everyone rushes to help. That in itself shows that our world hasn’t completely been abandoned to evil. I, too will send my prayers for the good health of your Cuddles. I don’t know anything about chickens, either, but I believe in the power of love. Sending you and yours hugs, meows, and bunny bonks.

  9. Mia says:

    My first thought when i see yellow poop is either liver issues or EYP resulting in a possible E.coli infection. Is her abdomen swollen/tight? It is possible to drain abdomen with a needle to help reduce accumulated fluid(18 gauge needle)and a course of antibiotics,possibly Baytril would be a good choice. Yellow foamy poop may indicate internal parasites,but judging from photos her poop looks more yellow and watery. I have seen yellow watery poop in my own birds,symptoms were fluffed up not eating/drinking,my first thought is always liver issues,so the first thing i grab is dandelion b/c among other things it contains choline a liver stimulant,i was lucky b/c it did help help my birds and after a couple of days they were fine. Any vet regardless whether they treat poultry should be able to do a fecal float test just to rule out parasites.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mia – She definitely doesn’t have foamy poop. And now that you remind me, I did give her dandelion when she first got sick and she gobbled it down like a pig. A chicken pig. I’ll go grab some now and see if it entices her to eat. Thx. ~ karen!

  10. Andrea says:

    I would suggest that you connect with a veterinarian, Mark Camilleri who is located in Ancaster 905-304-7877. Yes it is a veterinary practice that specializes in felines, however Dr Camilleri has been involved with poultry since childhood. Dr Camilleri is also a qualified poultry judge with the American Bantam Association when I last checked. Personally, I have not met him but my sibling knows him well and he comes well recommended by many in the poultry world.

    Wishing you and Cuddles all the best.

    • Karen says:

      Oh thats great Andrea! Thank you so much. I’ll absolutely look into him. The fact that he’s a vet and knowledgable in poultry is amazing! Even avian vets don’t usually know about poultry so much as parrots. :) ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Andrea – I’ve called the cat clinic and asked for them to have Mark contact me. I’ve also emailed them my post to forward to him. Thank you so much for supplying me with my most promising lead. :) I will let everyone know when I hear back from him. ~ karen

  11. Shannon says:

    Have you tried contacting Lap of Love? They are a roaming hospice for pets. They euthanized our beloved dog, Annie at our house with the most wonderful, tender care I could ever hope for. They have 60 vets across the US but maybe they also have something for Canada. Good luck! My heart goes out to you.

  12. marilyn says:

    sorry karen

  13. Tracey says:

    Hi Karen
    Mike replied to you…did you see it yet?
    I just happened to be reading his blog from the link and saw your question and his reply.
    I’m So Sorry to hear about cuddles. I hope she recovers sweetie. I know I’ll be waiting to hear about her progress. She sounds like such a sweetheart. I just watched the video you had with cuddles sitting on your friends daughters lap. I forget their names now….because this post made me cry for you and for cuddles.

  14. Maria says:

    I’m so sorry.

    From the color of the poop, I’d say the egg was broken inside her and she was egg bound. If you gently feel her bottom, can you feel anything where an egg would be? It’s possible she still is egg bound.

    The Chicken-chick is my go to woman on all things chicken. Here is a link to her chicken resources directory. Use the search engine function at the top of the page and you’ll find egg bound, causes and treatment. There’s also a post on abnormal poop

    I got chickens because of your coop and your ladies.

    If she is still drinking, then there’s hope.

    Use an eye dropper and slowly drop liquids in the side of her beak one drop at a time if you have too.

    Try scrambling up an egg and see if she can be tempted by that.

    Keep giving her electrolytes and antibiotics.

    I will pray for Cuddles. She is a sweet girl. And so are you.

  15. Ann says:

    I know you are probably catching up on a little sleep right now. Good luck with Cuddles. You have gotten some good info here and you will have to keep us up to date on what happens in the next few days. I have lost a chicken this year to the unknown. She had what I called the croup since she wheezed every time she breathed until the end of 2 days which was then the end for her. I asked my vet if she ever treated chickens and she said no and that she did not know of another single vet in our area that did.

    I totally understand wanting to go the distance to save your favorite girl. I thought I lost my fav hen, Loretta to a fox. Was heartbroken over all her feathers strewn across the lawn. I was just about to suck it up and move on, best I could, when who waddles down the driveway, nary a tailfeather on her backside? Well, my sweet little Loretta. Who, by the way, flew out of her 6′ tall chicken run to even get attacked to begin with. And who is now, not nearly as sweet a chicken as she was before her brush with death.

  16. Gail says:

    You might try an avian vet. We took our parrot to Windrush in Burford. Or you might want to contact a chicken farmer. You can Google that.

    • Dear Karen, I heartily second the recommendation of Windrush in Burford, who have been so kind and a great help with our chickens, including treating infections, managing pain, and end-of-life care. I’m so sorry about your precious friend Cuddles.

      You are doing the right things – keeping her on the antibiotic (yes, 4 days is not enough) until a vet can see her, attending to her hydration, offering her bits of anything to eat which might tempt her appetite. Keeping her hydrated is key, and hens need lots of water.

      The neon green small runny poops suggests egg yolk peritonitis. When our dear girls have had similar situations, protein-rich foods were good: scrambled egg, hulled sunflower seeds (important – no shells!), a spoonful of tuna salad. Other low-appetite favourites have included fresh or canned corn, Hagen canary moulting treat, crumbled bead moistened with Shoppers brand Pedialyte (“apple” flavour), grapes and bananas cut up small; purple cabbage, cauliflower, and apple to peck at; and also chick crumbles, or laying hen pellets ground to dust in the blender / food processor. Though our weather is mild, you might offer her a heat lamp or hot water bottle as long as she has room to choose to move towards and away from it. Warm + dark is the ideal combo.

      All kindest thoughts to you and Cuddles, and big, big hugs. Feel welcome to get in touch if I can help in any way. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  17. mayr says:

    She’s not “just” a chicken. She’s your friend. And a darn good one too.

  18. Juliet says:

    Could it be Sour Crop? Or could she be Egg bound? Sorry about your sweet chicken. I have learned that the joy my animals bring me comes with a flip side and that is heartache. Hope she makes it.


    • Karen says:

      Definitely don’t think she’s egg bound and she her breath is fine so probably not sour crop, but I did notice it seems warm this morning and didn’t empty what little she had in there, so there could be some sort of impacted crop. ~ karen!

  19. Sally A says:

    I agree with one of the comments above that Texas A&M University has the best ag program in the United States, however may be slow tor difficult o get answers. I found this online where you type in your problem and they get back to you quickly. I used a similar site for my cat and it was helpful.
    This is the link to their poultry vets.|ga|1|Pets|Poultry%20Vet&JPKW=chicken%20vet&JPDC=S&JPST=&JPAD=30481254363&JPMT=p&JPNW=g&JPAF=txt&JPCD=20120615&JPRC=1&JPOP=Colin_QALive_Control&mkwid=str2edA2Q_dc&pcrid=30481254363&pkw=chicken%20vet&pmt=p&plc=&gclid=CO6giPLSnMACFSMLMgodOhsAkA

    I wish I could help more! Good luck and we’re here for you!

    • wanda j says:

      You’ve got to love us Texans. I live 60 miles from A&M and we all love that school (here along with UT of course).They have the best vet department. Being this happened on weekend it might take them awhile today to get in touch. I hope they can help you find the cure. I only know one other chicken lady and she lives up north somewhere. I don’t have any chickens myself only neighbors who visit each day so I’m no help. I hope you find some thing for you dear Cuddles friend soon.

  20. Lynne says:

    Did you find a solution? If not – email me – one of my besties is a vet and specializes in farm animals. Maybe you could drive Cuddles here today?!

  21. Linda says:

    Karen, I had taken a sick chicken to the Dunnville Vet Clinic in the past. They had no problem seeing her and helping..they have both a farm and small animal vet service.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Linda! I’ll work my way through these comments and see what everyone else says, but at least Dunnville is within driving distance! I may try worming her. ~ karen

  22. Carol Hogan says:

    I have nothing to offer either having no experience with chickens but I have lots of experience with animals and the unconditional love they offer, especially at times when human comfort just doesn’t do it, so I’m sending you my love and prayers and asking my favorite, St Francis, to keep your Cuddles in his loving arms.

  23. Jess says:

    Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to hear about Cuddles! I hope with the outpour of replies you find something that will help her. Btw…one can learn a lot from poop…good luck ♥♥

  24. BamaCarol says:

    I don’t have anything to offer but prayers that Cuddles gets better. She is some kind of girl to have provided you with lots of love last year.

  25. Polly says:

    Don’t give up hope! I had one down for 5 weeks once. I was cleaning her up and propping her up on the lawn to get sun every day. She had 2 vet visits and two rounds of anti -b’s. She got VERY close to being put down but she kept eating and I figure if an animal’s game enough to persevere, then I’ll keep feeding it. One day she just stood up and toddled off back to the flock : )

  26. Auntiepatch says:

    I don’t know anything about chickens but I do hope that Cuddles gets better. Any animal that loves like that deserves a chance to live. Good luck to both of you!

  27. Pam'a says:

    Sending good chicken juju as only a veterinarian’s daughter can. C’mon, Cuddles!

  28. Suel Anglin says:

    Hi Karen,
    I hope Cuddles feels better soon. I’m one of your readers down south. I’m hoping one of those vet connections come through for you. I grew up near my grandparents farm in North Carolina, chickens were my favorites. I think you should return to the treatment that had the best effect, if you can keep her fluids going and keep her eating a bit, I think she will pull through. If her appetite is still off try offering her some chopped boiled egg. (I know that sounds strange), But the concentrated nutrients may help her own immune response.

  29. Cynthia says:

    I looked up coccidiosis on Backyard Chickens. It does say that severe infections can cause yellow foamy poop.

    I think Cuddles’ poop could come under that definition.

    Here is an except that outlines the treatment. from the link I have included.

    “How to Treat Coccidiosis?”

    ……………Treatment will work effectively and quickly if started when you see the first signs of disease

    The treatment I have read about that is said to be the best is to separate your chickens and then use Corid 9.6% liquid solution. The dosage is 9.5cc to a gallon of water for five days. And there is no withdrawal period. You do need to make a fresh batch every day, and keep him/her away from all the other chickens. Corid takes care of all 9 cocci that chickens could get…………….


    I think keep her on the antibiotics and this Corid together will cover all bases.

    Here is another chicken site that offers different medication choices in case this Corid is not available to you.

  30. Cynthia says:

    Lisa Daley
    4:11 PM (17 minutes ago)

    to me
    Please convey my best wishes, and even in cases where all efforts have failed I do believe that kindness is never a waste,

  31. shuckclod says:

    So sorry to hear about Cuddles not doing well. Your girls are so important to you. She sounds dehydrated to me. I know you would never cut her head off, she is your working pet not food. I hope she pulls through, lots of good advice to try.

  32. Kristin Ferguson says:

    Tippie, my favorite hen, had something similar a couple of years ago. She was lethargic, wouldn’t eat or drink, and kept settling down for a rest, all the time, wherever she was, as if she was just too tired to stand. I took her to a vet that deals with chickens (sometimes it’s damned convenient to live in a big and wacky city like Los Angeles; I even found one in my neighborhood.) He gave her a shot of antibiotics, and also an injection of saline to replace some lost fluids. I then had to feed her more antibiotics for maybe ten days, twice a day. She was better within a couple of days, but I kept giving her the medicine until it was gone, like the vet said. She made a full recovery. The vet had offered to run some tests that would have been quite expensive, but when I hesitated to sign off on them, that’s when he offered to just treat her for an infection. It was hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars in vet bills on a chicken, even for Tippie. And a divorce would have been even more expensive.

    I hope Cuddles recovers! Let us know what the vet says!

  33. Barbara says:

    Seems like you are getting lots of good advice from your readers, as well as the name of a vet. I forwarded your post to the Austex Poultry group, asking them if they knew of anything you could do to help Cuddles. They are really good about helping each other out in a crisis. We are all hoping for the best for you and Cuddles.

  34. Cynthia says:

    Karen……..My local Chook Lady’s response.

    cynthia jones
    4:00 PM (8 minutes ago)

    to Lisa

    ​Hi Lisa
    Would you mind checking out this post on my favourite blog and see if you have any ideas to help her.?​

    Lisa Daley
    4:07 PM (2 minutes ago)

    to me
    Cynthia, If it were me, I would worm Cuddles with a pour on drench because it kills all internal and external paracites eg cydectin cattle drench and try to get cuddles to eat chick starter because it has anticoccidial medicine in it. I wouldn’t ever give up hope!

    Im not convinced that a vet would make any difference to the outcome.

    cynthia jones
    4:08 PM (0 minutes ago)

    to Lisa
    Oh Thank you so much. I will forward your email on to Karen in Canada. She will appreciate it so much.

    Lovely of you to respond so promptly. I so appreciate it.


    • Karen says:

      Wow. That was incredibly quick! O.K. I’m going to bed now being it’s almost 2:30 in the morning and I’ll compare her response to others and see what seems to make the most sense. Thank her for me! ~ karen

  35. Cynthia says:

    I know ‘squat’ but I am thinking to err on the side of caution. I think it would likely do more good than harm to keep her on them longer than the ususal recommendation especially if her poop and her behaviour responds positively.

    Also, I would give her her favourite things to eat, even though you could end up with one girl who will only eat black sunflower seeds for the next ten years. :) Anything to keep her energy up until Mike the Marvel gets back to you or another treasure from one of your readers.

    Sending a cyberhug to both.

  36. alisa says:

    Does her lower belly area feel normal? The part between her legs and her tail? I’m told that if it’s a problem involving her egg laying system – like egg laryngitis- that her belly will feel squishy. Compare her to your other hens so you’ll know what’s normal to feel.

  37. Susan Croteau says:

    Animals will fast sometimes when ill..Have you tried diatomaceous earth.. if she has parasites it will kill them! She could have some sort of stomach problems from them. I hope she gets well… but realize that sometimes animals fast until they are well. If you buy diatomaceous earth make sure it is food grade.. for animals and humans! Also..I am sue I didn’t spell it right. I suggest dusting your chickens with it also.. as it will kill mites and other bugs on your chickens!

  38. Cynthia says:

    I would be putting her back onto the antibiotics straight away if you have more, until you can gather more information or support.

    Four days is not a full course length and she bucked up by the end of day four it could indicate she needs a longer course.

    I will send the link to my local chicken lady and forward to you any response I get. Keep her warm too just to keep her stress levels down.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Cynthia. I may run out now and give her another dose. For things like this for chickens everything I’ve read said a course of 4 days. :( ~ karen!

  39. mia pratt says:

    Here’s sending wishes for a rapid recovery for your sweet little angel. However many days our animal friends are given for their life, they bring us such joy and unique companionship! From chickens to dogs and horses, through thick and thin, they love us in the way only our animal can. Let’s hope her days ahead are many, and your tears ahead are few, dear Karen<:}

  40. Ember says:

    I’m so sorry. Praying for your Cuddles. Nothing silly about that. We have these special little things we are given and they mean the world to us. I dont know anyone particular, but perhaps contact someone at Texas A&M University.They do a LOT of agriculture type things there.

  41. Sarah Huckabee says:

    When I saw the first photo it made me think she has a calcium or phosphorus deficiency if you gave her electrolytes that should have helped with that problem. If I hadn’t seen the poop pictures I would have thought Botulism because I had a rooster have the same kind of symptoms. There isn’t much you can do if that is the case. Could also some sort of virus if she got better and then went worse again. If in the event she does pass is there a livestock vet or exotic vet close that would do a necropsy?

    • Karen says:

      There are many livestock vets around but they mainly deal in large animals like cows, horses etc. most people just don’t take a chicken to the vet. And to be honest if it weren’t Cuddles I may not be quite so frantic about it either, but this is a chicken that runs up to me and jumps in my lap! She’s sooo happy and friendly with everyone. ~ karen!

  42. Lesley Williamson says:

    I *think* this is the guy. I just sent a link to your blog via private message to his Facebook address.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Leslie! I’ve left a comment on his site with a link to my post as well. :) Perhaps with the two of us pestering him he’ll respond. I’m sure he gets many requests and people contacting him which is why he doesn’t have his email address available. I understand. ~ karen!

  43. Lesley Williamson says:

    Director of Technical Services at McKinley Hatchery Inc.
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada (Kitchener, Canada Area) Veterinary
    772 Queen St E
    St Marys, ON N4X 1C2, Canada – View Map
    Phone: (519) 284-1790

    Good luck!

  44. Lesley Williamson says:

    No idea if this will help – there’s this guy. and he’s mentioned again here Mike Petrik – chicken vet in the Hamilton area. Trying to find contact info but maybe the two women in these blogs could help?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lynne. I don’t know HOW in my billion Google searches I didn’t find him! And in Ontario even! No idea where, but at least it’s Ontario. ~ karen

  45. alisa says:

    And, I can say don’t give up on Cuddles yet. My own favorite hen got sick last year at about this time. Similar symptoms and poop. I took her to my vet who is familiar with birds, and he found nothing wrong. He said that hens can get ill just like humans, and she might get better on her own. She did…and then she had a relapse, and then she just went back to normal. It was about a week, all told. It’s a year later now, and she’s fine. I truly hope Cuddles recovers. I know how these special hens can be so loved.

    • Karen says:

      Was she eating at all? That’s what’s kept Cuddles alive. The fact that I was forcing her to drink with a syringe when she wouldn’t. I hope she lives but if not I really don’t want her to suffer or prolong her suffering. Hopefully I’ll find a poultry vet with a suggestion. ~ karen!

  46. caryl hodgdon says:

    I just lost my one and only with some of the same symptoms. I had no clue what her age was-orphan-and I’m sure you know Cuddle’s age. I thought she might just be old and had a miserable past. Have you tried the site backyard chickens? There are some bumpkins there but with good hearts. My thoughts are with you both and at least it sounds like she’s enjoying her last days except for the poops-just like my Viola! Think about whether she might have gotten into something different it might direct a vet to a remedy.xo

    • Nicole2 says:

      Yes, I was going to suggest Guelph as well. I have a friend who will take her dogs there only. Drive from Burlington even though there are very qualified vets here.

  47. Nicole says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Cuddles, Karen. I do not have chickens or a specific recommendation. I just know that complicated cases in Southern Ontario frequently get referred to the University of Guelph. With the veterinary and agriculture programs there they may be able to help.

    • Patti says:

      I was going to suggest this, too! The University is fantastic, and their specialized knowledge could only help, Karen! I know a few people who work in various departments there, and can only sing their praises!

      Poor Cuddles and poor Karen! I don’t have chickens, but I do have a parrakeet, and I know how incredibly wonderful birds can be and how much you can bond with them. Please take Cuddles to the veterinary service at Guelph, Karen – they really are wonderful, and IF you have to get Cuddles euthanized, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the team there is the MOST sympathetic and kind. They get it.

  48. alisa says:

    Read this. This treatment really does help sick hens….especially if you have no idea what’s wrong. And the writer is very experienced with hens. You could try contacting her directly.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. That’s actually one of the many, MANY articles I read. I bathed Cuddles in warm water and fed her olive oil prior to reading it. I may venture into giving her the Epsom salts bath tomorrow. Thx. Alisa! ~ karen

    • MARILYN says:


      I live in Auburn, AL and we have a wonderful Poultry Science Dept. at Auburn University. I have forwarded your story to a friend of mine Dr. Joseph Giambrone who works in this dept. Hopefully you or I will hear from him shortly…….. Praying for Cuddles.


      • Karen says:

        Thank you so much Marilyn! ~ karen

      • MARILYN says:

        Dr. Giambrone said he responded to your blog but I do not see it! I hope you got it.


      • Teresa says:

        Hey Marilyn, I live in Montgomery, AL and graduated from Auburn….War Eagle! So glad someone else down south follows Karen’s blog. Thanks for trying to help!

        • Deenamac says:

          Hey, Teresa & Marilyn,
          Lots of folks ‘down south’ follow this amazing blog!!!
          As another Auburn resident I must say WAR EAGLE and I am praying for relief for both Cuddles AND Karen. I too, have some wonderful chickens with fantastic personalities and am hoping for the best.

        • Teresa says:

          Awesome to know there are others! War Eagle!

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